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that will be passed in both houses. if an agreement is not reached in time between senator reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor and up or down vote for the floor, and i believe a p proposal could pass both houses with majorities as long as the leaders allow it to actually come to a vote. if members of the house or the senate want to vote no, they can. but we should let everybody vote. >> kristen, this up or down vote seems to be be the big news of the day, and isn't this what the white house wanted all along? >> well, it is. it is prp's way of saying, look, vote on his basic proposal, the proposal that will extend the middle-class tax cuts for those making $250,000 or more and extend unemployment benefits and spending cuts and basic plan that the president is calling for, and something similar has passed through senate so that the white house feels confident what the president is calling for would again pass through the senate and could potentially get through the house. in order for that to happen though, richard, that would involve every single demo
>>> right now on andrea mitchell reports, senator majority leader harry reid is expected to speak at any moment now. president obama is back at the white house. his call to congressional leaders seem to have fallen on deaf ears. reid, predicting the country will go over the fiscal cliff and blames it on house speaker john boehner. >> the american people i don't think understand the house of representatives is operating without the house of representatives. it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker. john boehner seems to care more about keeping his speakership than about keeping the nation on firm financial footing. >> boehner's office's response? we've done our part. it's the senate democrats fall. but will the speaker call his members back before time runs out? >> at the last moment is the way these things normally happen. i think that can happen again. it just depends on putting egos aside a little bit and putting the best interests of the american people first. >> plus, keeping our kids safe, is arming educators the symptom or adding to the problem. >>> and can any
reid, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell would try to hammer out a deal amongst themselves, get it passed through the chamber and send it to the house. house speaker boehner made it clear he had not move first. he wants to see the senate act. the ball is now in the senate's court for all intents and purposes. >> sam, isn't it a bit late in the day to be playing this game of chick snn. >> i don't know what constitutes late in the day at this juncture. i guess we have a few more days, a couple more hours here. i think there's a general consensus we probably will hit the cliff, but that doesn't mean they can't hurry and get something done a day after, two days after, do it retroactively. the hit that would be felt by families would be minimum in that case. a lot of negotiations. we'll see what mcconnell and reid can pick up and forge together. >> nbc news has been reporting that the president's holding firm to this position of not cutting taxes for people earning more than $250,000 a year. you've been talking to republicans all day. will republicans vote for a plan that looks like
with harry reid and spoke with john boehner. is a grand bargain still possible when everyone is leaving town? >> a week from the shooting massacre that left 20 children and six educators dead, we have heard plenty of people calling for new gun control laws but very little from the national rifle association until now. in a bizarre news conference, the head of the nchl ra said the solution of gun violence in this country is simple, more guns. armed officers in every school. it is the same line we have heard before from the nra. has the country's relationship with guns fundamentally changed since newtown. what we saw last night from house republicans is yet another symptom of a real problem for the gop. they don't believe in compromise. they have lurnlged too far to the right. president obama tapped kerry to be the next secretary of state. let me finish with the great new movie about getting bin laden and how one person can make a huge difference. we begin with where things stand on the fiscal cliff. david corn is the washington bureau chief for mother jones magazine and msnbc contributor, jar
departure, the president called all four congressional leaders, reid, mcconnell, boehner and pelosi. now fiery words after reid hit boehner with volley after volley from the senate floor earlier today. >> if we go over the cliff and it looks like that's where we're headed, mr. president, the house of representatives as we speak with four days after today aren't here with the speaker having told them they'll have 48-hours notice. i can't imagine their conscie e consciences. >> speaker boehner's office responding with a terse statement saying in part, quote, senator reid should talk less and legislate more. the house already passed legislation to avoid the entire fiscal cliff. senate democrats have not. joining me now from d.c. nbc news white house correspondent peter alexander. peter, there was word the last hour that the president may have sent some sort of deal. the white house then turning around saying that's not true at all. where was the confusion? >> reporter: well, you hear the frosty statements back and forth as you just indicated there, craig. ah, the holidays in washington. a
? >> that's the real question right now. right now, the focus is on the senate. what does harry reid do? does he blink obama's plan to the floor or try to work with mcconnell in this 11th hour. you will have a tough vote for many house republicans. if that level is at 250 and it includes unemployment, make it so republicans may not. >> joy, do you think we have a deal? >> you know, ill'm still very dubious. but if there is a deal, it will be with a majority of democrats in the house and there's a political risk for boehner in that. >> thank you. you've been watching "hardball." we'll be back in one hour with an all-new live edition. until then, "politics nation" starts rite now. >> thanks, richard. thanks to you for tuning in. breaking news, president obama urges congress to make a deal to overt the fiscal cliff. he announces no deal, but progress may be in sight. >> and that would be the wrong thing to do for our e con mu. it would be bad for middle class families and bad for businesses that depend on family spending. fortunately, congress can prevent it from happening if they act righ
conference, it came after president obama met with john boehner and nancy pelosi and harry reid and mitch mcconnell, so all the key congressional leaders. and listen to the president here. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable. why everything always has to wait until the last minute. well, we're now at the last minute. and the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. not right now. i just have to repeat. you know, outside of washington, nobody understands how it is that this seems to be a repeat pattern, over and over again. ordinary folks, they do their jobs. they meet deadlines. they sit down and they discuss things and things happen. if there are disagreements, they sort through the disagreements. the notion that our elected leadership can't do the same thing is mind boggling to them. and needs to stop. >> i just have to repea
seems to be to put -- you know, senator reid is trying to put this back on boehner and really make the case that, hey, we in the senate, we've passed something, we could, you know, if the house would get back here, we could pass it right now, avert this cliff, and everybody could go home. that seems to be their strategy. >> and you heard right there harry reid really laying into republicans saying you guys have not been around. we have nobody to negotiate with. you know, negotiating to come to a compromise. a real interesting plan of attack by harry reid. mitch mcconnell came to the senate flor and said we await to hear from the president regarding any plan that he has moving forward but we're not just going to give a blank check over to democrats because we're on the edge of a fiscal cliff. and harry reid coming down and essentially tearing apart mitch mcconnell saying speaker boehner couldn't pass plan bmpld, you guys haven't done anything. show us where your cards are. what's interesting though is, karen, is what we know about who the house republicans are going to do. they're g
yet to bear fruit and right now we do have the focus on the senate. majority leader reid and mitch mcconnell trying to hammer out a deal that would, to some extent extend the bush-era tax cuts for those making $250,000 although we might see that number go up to 400,000, 500,000 if there is some type of a deal. the president has called on a deal to extend unemployment insurance benefits so that is another aspect that they're negotiating, but clearly, these negotiations are difficult. they have been from day one and that is why we are seeing them go to the 11th hour, but again, as of right now one democratic source expressing skepticism about getting something done by the all-important deadline. craig? >> the president, of course, appearing on "meet the press" tomorrow. is there a sense that the white house needs to stay out in front of this to convince americans that he's doing his part to reach a settlement before zero hour? >> think that is part of it and we've seen president obama take this tactic before. during the payroll tax cut fight, you'll remember he ran out and talked to peo
speakership than keeping the nation on footing. >> john boehner's office fired back -- senator reid should talk less and legislate more. the house has already passed legislation to avoid the entire fiscal cliff. >>> the president gets set to land in washington this hour. there's new word that the president has called all four congressional leaders. reid, mcconnell, boehner and pelosi. . joining me to talk more, we have peter alexander standing by at the white house as well as nbc's mike viqueira on capitol hill. some verbal smackdown, basically flipping the lights back on and harry reid taking to the floor to eviscerate speaker boehner. >> the sad part is you often seen the floor opened that way. mitch mcconnell being later today. i'm sure we'll hear something later. to hear it two days after christmas and a matter of days before we go through the fiscal cliff, obviously not encouraging. harry reid says time is running hout. he doesn't know if they could go through the legislative hurdles. if they have the votes around here, they can legislate the sky is green and the grass is blue. that's
can pass, but the senate first must act. well, this morning, senate majority leader reid slammed the house republicans not not even showing up. >> if we go over the cliff, and it looks like that's where we are headed, the house of representatives as we speak with four days left after today before the first of the year aren't here with the speaker having told them they will give them 48 hours inside. i can't imagine their conscious. >> well, senator reid is expected to hold a news conference about the talks this afternoon. so here is where we stand. reid wants to get a vote on at least a basic bill to delay the automatic spending cuts, provide the unemployment benefits and still cut taxes for most americans. but it sounds like reid doesn't want to get played here. he says he's going to only bring that bill to the floor if the house agrees to work with him on final passage. the house couldn't deliver a vote on the last republican plan so that condition seems like a deal breaker. but tom cole, the number four house republican says sometimes the real imagine ek happens in the bottom
, and for our entire economy. but the hour for immediate action is here. it is now. >> senate leaders harry reid and mitch mcconnell were back at the capitol in no time. mcconnell gathered his members to inform them of the work that needs to be done. >> we had a good meeting down at the white house. we are engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the white house, in the hopes that we can come forward, as early as sunday, and have a recommendation, that i can make to my conference and the majority leader can make to his conference, so we'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. so i'm hopeful and optimistic. >> i'm going to do everything that i can. i'm confident senator mcconnell will do the same. but everybody, this is -- whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect and some people aren't going to like it. some people will like it less, but that's where we are. and i feel confident that we have an obligation to do the best we can and that was made very clear in the white house. and we're going to do the best we can for the caucuses that w
're no longer talking about some people getting a tax increase. harry reid and john boehner for instance said -- the speaker saying the senate should take it up. harry reid is speaking on the floor. let's take a listen. >> because americans' taxes are approaching the wrong direction come the first of this year, americans will have less income than they have today. if we go over the cliff, the house of representatives, as we speak, with four days left after today before the first of the year aren't here with the speaker having told them they'll give them 48 hours notice. i can't imagine their consciences where they are around the country and we're here trying to get something done. they are not in washington, d.c. the house of representatives are not here. they couldn't even get the leadership together yesterday. they had to do it with a teleconference. republican leadership. if we go over the cliff, we'll be left with the knowledge that could have been about a single vote. mr. speaker, prior to this session starting today, the presiding officer and i had a conversation about how things have c
going on right now, though the action is with the senate majority leader harry reid, minority leader mitch mcconnell trying to put together some alternative package that could in fact make its way through both houses. after they met with the president on friday, they sounded cautiously optimistic. here's what they had to say. take a listen. >> we'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. and so i'm hopeful and optimistic. >> i'm going to do everything that i can. i'm confident senator mcconnell will do the same. but everybody, this is whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect. >> and t.j., there's a lot of pressure on lawmakers and on the president to get something done. we've already seen the markets impacted by this. a lot of americans have just expressed frustration and concern over what's going to happen to their tax rates in the new year if in fact lawmakers can't get a deal. so there's a lot of public pressure to get something done on this. and of course, time is really running out. t.j.? >> kristen welker for us at the white house. than
'm optimistic. if an agreement isn't reached in time, between senate store reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote. i believe such a proposal could pass with bipartisan majorities. >> this up or down vote seems to be the big news of the day. isn't this what the white house wanted all along? >> well, it is. it's president's obama's way of saying vote on his basic proposal. it would extend in employment insurance benefit and deal with unemployment insurance cuts. >> so the question is, could they actually get that many republicans to vote for this package that the president is calling for? >> but politically, what he is doing is essentially saying this is the plan that i'm putting forth. let's get it through the senate and if it fails, it will fail in the republican-led house. essentially having rely cans having owned that failure. >> i didn't hear also about the debt ceiling that the treasury secretary was just saying we need to raise pretty much any day now. is this going to be the next couple of months in terms of
is what has to happen. mitch mcconnell and harry reid have to come to agreement. by tomorrow, possibly. have something they can vote on in the senate tomorrow night or possibly even monday. send it to the house of representatives where the president says the house speaker john boehner should put it on the floor, regardless if it gets the majority of the majority. that's the traditional way of doing things. the president said if any of the process fails, any of the steps along the way we outline, a senate agreement, vote in the senate, moving to the house, if it fails, the president wants a basic bill on the floor that sets those income levels at $250,000 above, to have everyone have their taxes rice rice. a lot of ifs and but, a flurry of last-minute activity, focused on the congressional leaders in the wes wing of the white house. >> like you said it will take a badda bing, badda boom to get this done. >>> joining me now is ed o'keefe and staff writer for "roll call," jonathan strong. thank you, both, for being here. i want to listen to more of what the president said on friday. i'll
staffers with majority leader reid and minority leader mcconnell are trying to conjure up some last-minute deal and this plan would not be the grand bargain that john boehner started initially working on. that plan would have dealt with tax reform and deficit reduction and this will be a much more scaled back version that will deal with the issue of taxes and that is still the big sticking point, taxes. of course, democrats and president obama have called for tax rates to increase on those making $250,000 or less. republicans have said that's way too low. so they're thinking about potentially compromising on a rate that would be $400,000 or $500,000, but some republicans are saying they don't think that the tax rate should go up on anyone. so taxes still the major sticking point. right now the negotiations are going on the hill and there's a lot of optimism that came from the talks yesterday. of course, president obama hosted congressional leaders at the white house and they left that meeting and many said that it was constructive and they were optimistic that a deal could get done
's court. harry reid tossed it right back. are we looking at another lost day in the negotiations? hitching a right on air force one, the new senator from hawaii and it's not what we expected it to be. here we go again. the president in washington and another deadline. secretary geithner warns we will hit the debt ceiling even before we tumble over the fiscal cliff. good morning from washington. it is thursday, december 27th. this is "the daily rundown." i'm luke russert. two days after christmas and washington is back to work trying to harsh out a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. the senate will get back from the session after holiday break. the president is expected to arrive back to the white house without his family to get back to twork mework to meet the loo deadline. mike is at the white house. let's start with you. the consensus around the hill is that we are more likely than not to go over the fiscal cliff, but there is a small chance harry reid could take a house pass bill and amend it and send it back over to the house. what are you hear being that? >> conceivably, but when the pre
and will be in session tomorrow for the same purpose. senate majority leader harry reid is trying to determine what kind of bill he can get through the senate with limited republican support. meanwhile, governor neil abercrombie of hawaii tonight announced that lieutenant governor brian schatz is as fit to feel the seat of the passed senator daniel inouye. he will leave hawaii for washington tonight and is expected to be sworn in sometime tomorrow afternoon. the democrats are wasting no time in the event harry reid needs the vote to avert the fiscal cliff. but the house? a different story. speaker john boehner held a conference call with republican leadership today, and basically decided to do nothing. there are no immediate plans to return to washington. even as that decision is made, how members have 48 hours to get there. house republican leadership released a statement today reading in part, the house has acted on two bills which collectively would avert the entire fiscal cliff if enacted. those bills await action by the senate if the senate will not approve and send them to the president to be sign
to compromise and i've been met with complete intransigence. >> an aide tells nbc news senator reid believes republicans should return to negotiating table and work with democrats that avoids the fiscal cliff all together. republicans should support passing a bill that extends tax cuts for families up to $250,000 and delays the so-called sequester while we negotiate additional policies next year. but the bottom line is moving forward will require cooperation from speaker boehner and senator mechanic connell. we hope they'll return from christmas ready to coop rate. >> well, you know, senator reid can try to fill that vacuum. but he controls one-half of one of the two bodies in congress. it still boils down to this dynamic that hasn't changed now for a year and a half. the democrats, and you've got to include reid and the president, are negotiating with a side led by john boehner who, despite whatever he may want to do himself, can't bring together his own team. he's being held hostage by his own kau cuss. now, i wrote this in the book i had about the last time we went through this a year and
with the speaker and mix mcconnel and harry reid to see if they can avoid going off the fiscal curb on january 1st. today harry reid emphasized that there is ome one reason why they are unable to reach an agreement so far. >> this has been going on for years. they cannot cross over the threshold. people are not propose iing mak the taxes like them. john boehner could not even pass the tax proposal he passed over there. he said no, can't do that. didn't he bring it up for a vote? >> tonight, speaker boehner's office put out this statement. >> joining me now are our guests. clearly the positioning game continues. harry reid saying we did our job months ago. do you think we til would be@posturing stage at the end of that white house meeting tomorrow? >> in your introduction you made the fundamental point here which is that this agreement before the end of the year, simply cannot go forward unless john by nor is willing to let it do so with majority democrats in the house. if we go over the curve as you put it, they can vote for a large tax decrease becaused off of the new rates that would be reset. t
the senate has to act. they can do whatever. we're going to say on vacation. who does harry reid have to negotiate with them? where does he go? >> the president and harry reid can only negotiate so much. >> the question becomes if they can get a bill for 250 and below perhaps with the unemployment insurance attached to it, maybe put in sweetener with the estate tax, could they guarantee that would pass the house of representatives? from the statement we do not know that. >> jared, last week it was speaker boehner himself who could not get his own bill passed, the plan "b." and yet here he is trying to put it back on democrats and the president to get the bill passed making it clear they're not prepared to come back to washington and do anything to avoid the fiscal cliff. what do you think's going to happen? >> well, i thought luke took us eloquently through all the scenarios. but to me this is all simple. it really comes down to this. is john boehner willing to introduce a compromise plan in the house of the type the president offered before he left? extend the tax cuts only for the 2
to be a good drop. >> senator reid says we are going over the cliff. the market drops. then house republicans announce they will return to washington. congressman charlie rangel and richard wolff will sort out the late-breaking news. >>> the l.a. gun buyback say major success, but is it enough to stem the explosion of gun sales in the wake of newtown? >> i've seen huge uptick in business. our a.r.s have been sold out because people are very concerned about them becoming banned. >> los angeles mayor antonio villaraigosa joins me live. >>> plus the louie gohmert plan to arm teachers is going forward in ohio and utah. >> i wish to god she had had an m-4 in her office. >> michelle obama gets definitive on a future run for office. and tonight, i will deliver my verdict on spike lee versus "django unchained." >> what's your name? >> django. >>> with little more than four days until the fiscal cliff, we now know that all the relevant parties will be in washington in three days. that's right. three days from now. on sunday evening before the redskins beat the cowboys. the house will finally reconvene
with the president, the democratic leader in the senate, harry reid, and the republican leader mitch mcconnell have come together and they have saved the day. they did it again and again. it happened in 2010, when mitch mcconnell actually worked with joe biden to extend the bush tax cuts and they got a bunch of stimulus passed. it happened in 2011 when reid and mcconnell were key in resolving the debt ceiling fight. and people thought it could happen again this time. what's different now is mitch mcconnell is up for re-election. and it is weird to say this aloud, what i'm about to tell you. i have never even thought about how weird it is to say until tonight's broadcast. but the person mitch mcconnell has in his head right now, the person he's maybe a bit afraid of, is ashley judd. yeah. that ashley judd. >> don't cry. don't cry. you're going to be fine. >> okay. >> mitch mcconnell's up for re-election potentially against ashley judd. she might be running against him. and she's polling well. they're only about four points apart. so he doesn't want any trouble. he certainly does not want a conservat
're looking to play nice. today, senator harry reid blasted the speaker for refusing to even vote on a democratic plan that would protect 98% of americans. >> everyone knows that if they had brought up the house -- i'm sorry, the senate-passed bill that would give relief to everyone making less than $250,000 a year, it would pass overwhelmingly. it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker. >> a dictatorship of the speaker. and here's house speaker boehner office responded. senator reid should talk less and legislate more. legislate more? what legislation has speaker boehner been working on while on vacation? while we're about to go over the cliff, the gop has been pointing fingers at the president. one gop aide says talks have failed because "the president made a strategic miscalculation and overreached. he picked a fight." picked a fight? sorry, that's not going to fly. the president has come to the table with numerous proposals. he isn't picking a fight. he's fighting for the american people. we all want a deal. but we will not give up our core principles. the preside
. that is the strategy right now. president obama will be working with what ma jority leader reid trying to get something through. the president wanted a big deal given the time constraints and only six days left, he conceded to a big deal is probably not possible. the goal now is just to get a gap measure to prevent the steep tax hikes from kicking into effect and the deep spending cuts. right now that is the large goal. i can tell you that competence in lawmakers is dwindling according to the latest poll. 50% of americans believe that lawmakers will be able to prevent going-over the fiscal cliff. that is a drop from seven points from december 16th. consumer confidence in the lawmaker'sability to get something done. if we go over the cliff, it could have ramifications including leading the country back into a recession. >> can you tell me or do we know whether president obama spent any time on the phone with mitch mcconnell or john boehner or the republican leaders? that's a good question and has not happened during this holiday vacation. talks between the main players here are largely stalled. there ha
. that failed. the focus shifts to the senate. reid and mcconnell will really be charged with trying to hammer out the fine details of that deal that can make it through the senate and through the house so that is the challenge moving forward. of course, president obama here in hawaii for his christmas cray case. he played some golf over the weekend. also, attended the memorial service for the late senator daniel inouye. thomas, on a much lighter note, he asked me had i taken my flip flops out last hour. i hadn't but i did since my work is wrapping up for you guys, flip flops are out and i'm ready to join those folks on the beach behind me. >> i'm very proud of you. i don't want to jinx this by talking about when you might have to pack but is there potential that the president may wrap up the vacation a little bit earlier than expected because of, say, harry reid and mitch mcconnell are able to work something out? >> reporter: i think that that is very likely. you heard president obama sort of signal that he's going to do that when he spoke on friday. he talked about the fact he'll be seeing e
with senate majority leader harry reid. >> i just spoke to speaker boehner, and i also met with senator reid. in the next few days, i've asked leaders of congress to work toward a package that prevents a tax hike on middle-class americans, protects unemployed american for 2 million americans and lays the groundwork for deficit reduction. that's an achievable goal. that can get done in ten days. once this legislation's agreed to, i expect democrats and republicans to get back to washington and have it pass both chambers. >> jared bernstein, is this actually a setback for the president insofar as the embarrassed speaker was someone at least with whom he was dealing and now the president really doesn't have a negotiation partner? >> i don't think so. i do think in a way it's a setback for the nation because the president and speaker boehner were actually moving to a credible plausible compromise at the very beginning of the week. and, of course, that's horfully off track now when john boehner decided to go to plan b. i think the leverage is enhanced by this. the problem is i don't know why repu
republicans. late today on the senate floor majority leader harry reid said what has become more and more obvious. the prospect of reaching a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff before january 1st is very unlikely. that's putting it lightly. let's watch. >> there's 435 members of the house. what goes on in this country shouldn't be decided by the majority. it should be decided by the whole house of representatives. the speaker just has a few days left to change his mind, but i have to be very honest, mr. president, i don't know timewise how it can happen now. >> well, that was plain. this afternoon senate minority leader mitch mcconnell said he wasn't willing to offer the white house a blank check just because we're on the edge of the cliff. take a look. >> last night i told the president we'd be happy to look at whatever he proposes, but the truth is we're coming up against a hard deadline here, and as i said, this is a conversation we should have had months ago. and republicans aren't about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the
service for the late senator daniel inouye. harry reid is also at that event. will he talk to president obama? white house officials right not being fairly tight-lipped on that matter. not telling us if there are any meetings scheduled at this point in time. they, again, call this a working vacation and say that staffers are working on this behind the scenes. melissa? >> hang on just a second. let me bring in nbc news political editor diminico montenero. what do you think about the majority leader flying all the way to hawaii? >> i think they realized they have three options, small deal, a big deal or go over the cliff, and right now the most likely scenario is a small deal. something that puts us past the fiscal cliff but then brings the fiscal issues into the new year which has a lot of potholes for the president. has a lot of things to get done on his legislative agenda, so worried about how going over the cliff might impact the economy immediately. >> who is more likely to take the blame if we do go over this cliff? >> that's a lot of what we're seeing. that's why you see john boehn
. >> senators reid and mcconnell are discussing a potential agreement to where we can get a bipartisan bill out of the senate over to the house and done in a timely fashion so that we met the december 31st deadline. but, given how things have been working this this town, we always have to wait and see until it actually happens. >> so there you have it. there will be a deal when there is a deal. i think that is howie mandel had been at the meeting, perhaps thing things have gone better, because he could have given the nation's leaders a lesson on probability 101. this is what we know are the the his own fiscal cliff show. most of the contestants make a choice not dealing with the real world mathematical probabilities of the situation they are in. contestants don't look at the innate silver, but they are driven by their emotions. contestants behave in more risky ways and taking bigger chances when less likely to pay off when prior expectations have been shattered by eliminating prior briefcases or other expectations have been surpassed by opening low-value briefcases. in other words, contestants
, and joining me today, jonathan chait, joy reid, new york times political reporter nicolas and catherine crier. christmas break is already over for president obama. he's flying back to washington tonight and aides say he's ready for a deal. it's not clear whether this trip is a sign of compromises to come or another display of theater showing the president is willing to work even as his opponents skip town. meanwhile, though, americans are growing skeptical. in the last week alone, gallup found a 15-point drop in the number of americans who think congress will negotiate a deal on the fiscal cliff. that's not all, holiday spending also hit its lowest rate since the 2008 recession, which retailers are blaming on the uncertainty in washington. so where do we go from here? well, since the house failed to get a vote on the tax package last week, all eyes are on the senate. a temporary deal that would basically extend all the tax cuts for those making under a quarter million. the deal would also rescue long-term unemployment benefits and instead of addressing those automatic spending cuts we've all
reid today, but still there is no deal. the president took to the podium late this afternoon to explain the next step. >> in the next few days, i've asked leaders of congress to work towards a package that prevents a tax hike on middle class americans, protects unemployment insurance for 2 million americans and lays the groundwork for further work on both growth and deficit reduction. that's an achievable goal. that can get done in ten days. >> you know, president obama today could have come out, and he could have just punched boehner right in the nose. he could have come out and kicked the guy today when he was politically down. but the president came out today with a demeanor of, hey, let's do a deal. it was a rough night at the office, but let's not give up on this. president obama has gone back to the basics. the days of the grand bargain he knows are over. but the president wants an extension on tax cuts for income below $250,000, as well as extended unemployment benefits. what's wrong with that? spending cuts can be dealt with later on in the future. and, of course, as luck would
behind closed doors with house speaker boehner, senate majority leader harry reid and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell talking about doing something to keep more than trillion dollars in tax increases and cuts from taking effect next week. also joining that party today, america's happy warrior. vice president joe biden will be there. while some appear ready to compromise others are still ducking, dodging, trying to dump the blame elsewhere. >> we all have our ideas and in the senate, you're right. we probably another 40, 50, 60 of saying that we're ready to both raise revenues and control entitlements. when's the missing ingredient? it is presidential leadership. >> i think in the end we'll get a deal. the question is the timing. >> am hopeful there will be a deal that avoids the worst parts of the fiscal cliff, namely taxes going up on middle class people. >> it's pretty apparent that we are not going to do what we've been called to do. this is 112th congress. we have had two years to deal with quote the fiscal cliff. >> let's bring in our man at the white house, peter alexande
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